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Could Jefferson be making his return to Boston?
While signing Martin will go a long way towards improving some of the Celtics’ shortcomings this season, that move alone won’t get the job done.
As a result, Boston will bring another big man in via trade.
The names of Anderson Varejao, Josh Smith and DeMarcus Cousins are on the top of almost every Celtics fan’s wish list for the upcoming year. It’s not without a reason, as each player would greatly improve Boston’s interior play.
However, don’t hold your breath.
Each of them would come at far too high of a cost for the Celtics. Essentially the team would be sacrificing their future in return for slightly improved play for a couple of seasons.
Instead, the team should look in the direction of Al Jefferson and Marcin Gortat.
Jefferson started out in Boston, where he became a starter in his third season, averaging 16 points, 11 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. He was eventually traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Kevin Garnett. It was a move even Jefferson has stated he would make.
Since then, Jefferson has continued his strong play. In 29 games this season for the Utah Jazz, Jefferson is averaging 16.3 points, 10.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game.
He would not only improve the Celtics’ rebounding woes, but his blocking abilities would also help the team’s defense down low.
Giving up Jared Sullinger—a player whose ceiling is pretty much equal to the play of Jefferson—with a combination of Brandon Bass, Jeff Green and/or Courtney Lee could be enough to swing a deal.
Jefferson has shown excitement over a possible return to Boston, and the fans would surely share the same sentiment.
On the other hand, Gortat is unhappy at his current position.
In an interview with CBS Sports back in November, Gortat seemed to let out a little frustration:
Unfortunately… I’ve been doing the dirty work all my life, and now I have to come back to that. I will fight for what’s mine. I’ll try to prove to the coach that I can play an important role in the offense. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m even an option for [coach] Gentry. He doesn’t even take me into consideration. The situation is critical. We’re playing the same thing we’ve been playing last year, but the truth is we have a completely different set of players. I don’t think it really works. I can’t get frustrated now though, I have to stay positive.
If that was not enough, Gortat followed that up by rejecting an extension offer from the Phoenix Suns. It all points towards a likely midseason exit for the one known as the “Polish Hammer.”
The Celtics are among those who have shown interest, as they would be able to provide the 28-year-old with the playing time he desires.
Through 29 games this season, Gortat is averaging 11.2 points, 8.5 rebounds and two blocks per game.
With Gortat likely to leave via free agency at the completion of this season, expect Boston to use that to their advantage in negotiating a possible deal.
Sullinger, Green, Bass and/or Lee should be involved in any trade scenario.
If the Celtics can swing a deal for either of these players, the rest of the Eastern Conference better watch out.